Guyana’s oil industry is attracting a significant amount of international interest, and according to Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, the country is seeking to partner with reputable foreign companies and wants an arrangement that benefits the country in the short, medium and long term.
According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), Minister Gaskin was at the time speaking at the Baker Institute’s forum on Oil and Gas Development in Guyana at Rice University in Houston, Texas held on Tuesday.
He was among a panel of speakers which included: Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) Head, Newell Dennison, Schlumberger’s Managing Director of the Caribbean, Sean Herrera, and Senior Director of FTI Consulting, Jamie McInerney.
The event was organised by the university’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and was aimed at exploring the oil and gas prospects in Guyana.
During his keynote address, Minister Gaskin emphasised that: “Guyana remains open for business, and we welcome all the interest and investments, we want your business but our people have needs, and their needs are our priority, so we want to work with you, and we want you to work with us.”
He added: “while we recognise that there is a lot that our country can gain from this sudden exposure to international oil companies, we also recognise that there is a lot that we can lose if we do not manage this sector responsibly.”
According to DPI, Minister Gaskin noted that Guyana is not seeking to become to the new ‘Singapore’ or ‘Norway’, but aims to become the ‘new Guyana’, a country that is relevant to the Guyanese people, one that they want to be a part of; a Guyana in which young Guyanese can see a bright future.
“As an oil producer, Guyana has arrived on the scene quite late… We are also fortunate to be starting at a time when there is a wealth of information available on every aspect on the oil and gas sector and its impact on various economies at different stages of their development.”
The proper management of this sector, the Business Minister said, is important.
The Government of Guyana is in the process of finalising its local content policy for the sector, which focuses on three key areas; employment and workforce development; supplier opportunities and business development and the transfer of knowledge and technology. “We believe that there is mutual interest in these three areas between international oil companies and our government”, Gaskin said.
The Baker Institute’s forum on Oil and Gas Development in Guyana at Rice University in Houston, Texas was co-sponsored by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Guyanese law firm, Hughes, Fields & Stoby and TOTALTEC Oilfield Services.